Progressive Summarization

Progressive Summarization VI: Core Principles of Knowledge Capture

It might seem absurd that something as simple as a method of highlighting could be so important to a person’s productivity and learning. Even I’m surprised that’s turned out to be the case.

But as testimonials and stories have streamed in from people putting it to use around the world, I’ve become convinced that it is the beginning of a sea change in how we consume information.

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Progressive Summarization V: The Faster You Forget, The Faster You Learn

In Part I, I introduced Progressive Summarization, a method for easily creating highly discoverable notes. In Part II, I gave you examples and metaphors of the method in action. Part III included my top recommendations for how to perform it effectively. Part IV showed how to apply the technique to non-text media.

In Part V, I’ll show you how Progressive Summarization directly contributes to the ultimate outcome we’re seeking with our information consumption: learning.

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Progressive Summarization IV: Compressing All Types of Media

Reading through the previous three parts, a question probably popped into your mind: does this apply only to text?

It’s an important one, because we are becoming a less text-based society. Ubiquitous cameras, real-time video chats, and visual displays of information have become the norm. Which means expressions of creativity will increasingly take on these forms.

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Progressive Summarization III: Guidelines and Principles

In Part I, I explained Progressive Summarization, a method for easily creating highly discoverable notes. In Part II, I gave you many examples and metaphors of the method in action.

In Part III, I will give you further guidelines on how to make Progressive Summarization (PS) a part of your daily work. They have been gathered from several years of using the technique in my own projects, and teaching it in my workshops and courses.

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Progressive Summarization II: Examples and Metaphors

These are Layer 1 notes I took on an article on postrationalism, a topic I’m interested in. This is 373 words, which would take about 2 minutes to read at an average reading speed. 2 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider that these notes could have no relevance to the task at hand, it’s a lot of attention to pay for nothing. Especially considering this is dense, challenging material.

For Layer 2, I bolded what I thought were the key points:

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Progressive Summarization: A Practical Technique for Designing Discoverable Notes

Modern digital tools make it easy to “capture” information from a wide variety of sources. We know how to snap a picture, type out some notes, record a video, or scan a document. Getting this content from the outside world into the digital world is trivial.

It’s even easier to get content that is already digital from one app to another. We know how to copy and paste text, save an image from a webpage, archive an email attachment, or import a video file.

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